Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38390 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2018, 03:05:59 PM »
Oh wow that's a really interesting bug.  I honestly haven't made it far enough in the game to make missiles myself, let alone see the AI make any.  It sounds like the AI is using the missiles as "super scouts".  Did you find a practical threshold to lower the missile speed to?

Offline Esper

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2018, 04:41:49 PM »
I haven't really had time to experiment, I just lowered the speed rating back down to 12. Sadly the missiles automatically return to base the next turn, even though they have plenty of range left on them before they'd crash.

Just another minor thing is that if you choose democratic on the social engineering table, Yang will eventually pronounce vendetta on you, but rant about your "brutal police state".
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 09:18:09 PM by Esper »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2018, 10:55:36 PM »
Try setting missiles to speed 64.  For testing, I made an "idiot nuke" unit that everyone could have at the beginning of the game.  I made it cost as much as a Scout so that everyone could get lots of testing.  I observed that speeds of 84 or higher would lock up the game, when the AI got around to trying to use them.  82 seemed safe, but as it was only a fission unit, engines at the end of the tech tree will introduce higher speeds and perhaps show the bug again.  I've currently got missiles with speed 64 and range 2.  That gives 128 fuel, enough to hit anywhere even on a Giant 256x128 map if you're careful.

I'm willing to credit you in the Changelog for having found this bug.  Do you want to be credited as "Esper" or something else?

As for the Democracy vs. "brutal police state" complaining, I have no idea.  Unless there's an "accidental paste" error somewhere from fumbling my keyboard, I didn't change any dialog lines for that.  I looked at the differences with a diff tool to make sure, and I found no dialog differences.  What faction were you?  Did you have a positive POLICE rating, say from building the Ascetic Virtues, or choosing Thought Control?  Maybe the game just looks at your stats and decides what kind of society you're closest to.

Offline Esper

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2018, 01:32:18 AM »
Seems to work fine for me so far with a speed of 64 like you say.

As for the Democracy vs. "brutal police state" complaining, I have no idea.  Unless there's an "accidental paste" error somewhere from fumbling my keyboard, I didn't change any dialog lines for that.  I looked at the differences with a diff tool to make sure, and I found no dialog differences.  What faction were you?  Did you have a positive POLICE rating, say from building the Ascetic Virtues, or choosing Thought Control?  Maybe the game just looks at your stats and decides what kind of society you're closest to.

I was playing as the Drones, standard 0 police rating, no projects that affect police rating. He said the same when using Fundamentalist politics too. It's odd but no big deal.

I'm willing to credit you in the Changelog for having found this bug.  Do you want to be credited as "Esper" or something else?

I don't need any crediting, but if you want to, Esper works fine.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2018, 02:29:33 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.4 to 1.5:

- Missiles: playtester Esper discovered that missiles with a speed of 99 hang the game when the AI tries to use them.  Reduced speed to 64 and refueling range to 2.  This seems to prevent hangs and is still enough range to hit anywhere on a Giant 256x128 map.
- Planet Buster missile: changed cost to 300 minerals, equal to many Secret Projects.
- Conventional Missile: changed cost to 100 minerals, due to increased range, and to stop the AI from spamming them so easily.
- Tectonic Missile: changed cost to 150 minerals due to increased range.
- Fungal Missile: changed cost to 120 minerals due to increased range.
- Missiles: added as basic unit types so that they have accurate costs in the Datalinks.  The entries for Chassis types and Payloads are misleading because some odd formulas are used to calculate final cost.  Also, permanent unit types ensure that they don't disappear as unit workshop designs fill up.  I've had fission Planet Busters, gotten rid of them, discovered Quantum engines later in the game, but had no design slots free, so suddenly I didn't know how to make Planet Busters anymore.
- N-Space Compression: set growth=3 because Tectonic Missiles create new land and access to land, which can be colonized.

The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.5.  It was downloaded 16 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 09:45:46 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2018, 12:54:03 AM »
I have begun an After Action Report using version 1.5, partly to illustrate the changes, partly to improve my narrative.  It's written in a roleplay style rather than a straight "I did this".  I'm taking a new approach and writing the entire thing offline.  Afterwards I will look at the writing I've accumulated, and decide how to punch it up.  If I find any bugs or misfeatures while playing, I may change them for a version 1.6, but I expect that changes are probably done now.  I didn't want to start on the project while the mod was still in flux.

The theme of the AAR is a Pirate faction being extraordinarily violent ala the great dictators of history, and sinking all land masses with a plethora of Planet Busters.  I say "a" Pirate faction because they are named the Aquatic Hegemony.  I won't reveal the name of the pirate leader at this time, because it may change, but it isn't Svensgaard.  I've always hated that mamby pamby boy.  Only thing he's got going for him is a funky eyeball.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2018, 02:39:13 PM »
Well my AAR effort folded pretty quickly.  The primary problem is I don't actually know how to play the Pirates with my new tech tree!  Lotta annoying stagnation occurred, shelling the Believers over and over again turn after turn.  The secondary problem is the narrative didn't have any meat on it.  I had initial ideas triggered by some items in the tech tree like Doctrine: Loyalty.  One might think of those tech tree entries as writing prompts or triggering events, excuses to tell a story.  But they didn't come often enough, for the number of turns spent, to develop into anything of substance.  It all felt very thin, and left me wondering, what would I actually like to see happening in a 4X TBS game, that isn't happening?  So at some point I might try again by completely making up gameplay, things that aren't actually happening and can't happen in SMAC.

Meanwhile I'm just learning how to play the Pirates properly.  I started out with a pure Conquer research focus, which is the default for that faction anyways.  This seems well advised because there are so many Conquer techs now, and it's important to keep up.  However there comes a point at which one really needs the Explore techs to keep people happy.  I didn't make a good transition on that.  Instead I just tried having "Doctor layabouts" while I continued with business as usual.  Typically I'd have size 6 bases with 2 Doctors.  I had enough food from all the kelp that this is doable, but my roleplay of "loathing the land" was counterproductive for actually destroying enemy cities on land.  Better luck next time.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2018, 09:26:25 PM »
Interesting. I'm tempted to try it myself. I just solve the alien problem by removing them from the game.
I've never been a fan of them.  Drones with no research penalty is interesting. In the right hands that faction
is exceedingly powerful to begin with.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2018, 02:32:09 PM »
But the Drones don't get that +2 Industry bonus either.  It's only +1 now.  They're also the only faction that gets an Industry bonus.  Yang's was taken away.  That said, all factions (except Morgan) can use the new Planned economy.  The Industry bonus is the same as before, but it also gives +1 Support, and the penalties are -1 Economy -1 Efficiency.  Easier to stomach, so it's a useful choice for anyone so inclined.

I played another Pirate game last night and did much better with the transition from Conquer to Explore.  However, I've repeatedly experienced an interesting research phenomenon compared to the unmodded game.  If you don't choose Discover at some point, you will never learn Information Networks.  This is a consequence of my "pure research" approach to the Discover track, at least trying to be as pure as the various lab facilities actually allow.  You can't count on getting Information Networks out of a pod, I popped tons of pods and never got it.  You can't count on the University or the Cybernetic Consciousness being willing to sell it to you.  You can steal it, if they're in the game, but what if you don't want to?  Or what if you do, but they're so far across the board that it's too tedious to push a foil probe team that far?  Well I guess at some point, a lack of research facilities becomes a real bottleneck, so you get more motivated to do something about it.  At midnight I just quit that game, lesson learned.

Probe teams BTW have nothing to do with Information Networks etc.  You get them from Planetary Networks, but the prereqs are Doctrine: Mobility and Doctrine: Flexibility (which is an E1 tech, no prereqs).  The idea is that probe teams are considered to be Conquer technologies.  If you think about it, an information network does not have to exist for something to be hacked.  What about units?  Mobility and Flexibiliy were chosen so that I could guarantee a Foil Probe Team was an appropriate thing to enable with Planetary Networks.  And yes, the AI does use them.  They will come all the way across an Enormous map just to bother your sea bases.  I've been building armored infantry chassis probe teams in my sea bases, defensive units that aren't expected to go anywhere.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2018, 08:05:39 PM »
Bear in mind the Drones revolution has no effect outside of multiplayer. What you did with the believers seems a lot like what I ended up with. Minus the planet penalty
which I always found stupid. The way you balanced the factions is interesting. The Hive is especially interesting. The Cyborgs are overpowered now though that crippling growth
penalty was the only thing that kept them balanced.
As  far as the social engineering  changes. Free Market penalties are a bit extreme and Planned seems to good. Green is interesting.
Power the Industry penalty is crippling. I simply tried making life easier for the AI by removing most the penalties.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 11:55:45 PM by vonbach »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2018, 01:03:34 AM »
Minus the planet penalty which I always found stupid.

I retained it for narrative flavor.  The idea that they think it's Eden, and not what it actually is, appeals to me.  It is reminiscent of the old Star Trek episode The Way to Eden.  Juicy ripe grenade fruits indeed!

Quote
The Cyborgs are overpowered now though that crippling growth
penalty was the only thing that kept them balanced.

I disagree.  You may not have noticed that their RESEARCH is only +1 now.  Zhakarov is the only "on steroids" research faction with a +2, and these are the only two bonus research factions in the game.  Hmm, steroids don't sound like the right drug, what do those lab rats take to keep working?  Gotta be more than coffee.  Besides, Roze surely monopolizes the coffee trade.

The only faction I'm wondering if it's really overpowered now, is the Spartans.  They seem to kick major booty.  I will be watching them.  I haven't actually fought them yet, as playtesting has tended to reveal "yet another thing that needs changing" before actually getting across an Enormous map to them.

Quote
As  far as the social engineering  changes. Free Market penalties are a bit extreme

In my mod they are less than the penalties of the original game.  And you get +1 EFFICIENCY, because let's face it, Free Markets are more efficient in some brutal sense of the term.

Quote
Power the Industry penalty is crippling.

Not as crippling as it was.  It's only -1 now.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2018, 01:09:28 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.5 to 1.6:

- Information Networks: changed it from a D1 to a D2 tech.  It explicitly requires a "Discover" focus to research it.  Failure to do so, causes prohibitive delays in one's research.  I don't mind having SOME delay compared to an unmodded game, but it was too much.  By giving it some prereqs, it is farther along the Discover research path, and doesn't interfere with other tech paths as much.  Removed it as a dependency for Industrial Economics, since it's not a Build tech and such a severe bottleneck.
- Biogenetics: changed it from a D2 to a D1 tech.  It is not a "pure" Discover tech, it also has a Conquer component due to the alien lifecycle bonus.  As such, it is better suited to be a "no prereqs" tech.  Every AI faction in the game focuses on either Conquer or Discover, so every faction will eventally research it.  It gives a small, constant bonus to Labs output, which is appropriate at the very beginning of the game.
- changed various dependencies due to the reshuffling of these techs.
- University: removed Information Networks as a starting tech, since it's now a prereq for important Secret Project techs.  He still gets a free Network Node at every base, so he doesn't need to start with that tech.

The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.6.  It was downloaded 12 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 03:04:54 AM by bvanevery »

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2018, 03:08:30 AM »
Quote
I retained it for narrative flavor.  The idea that they think it's Eden, and not what it actually is, appeals to me.
By that logic they should get a plus to planet not a penalty. Its just the anti Christian bias again.
Quote
The only faction I'm wondering if it's really overpowered now, is the Spartans.
Spartans always do well because they're aggressive and they bring rovers. Its more that than anything else.
Drones always did poorly because their AI is passive. The cyborgs took forever to build for the AI but if left
alone were obnoxiously powerful. Its the Research paired with Effic.
Quote
In my mod they are less than the penalties of the original game.
Free market economics penalties in the base game were just stupid. Your mod makes it better but I think the penalties are still too much.
I just solved the problem of penalties by removing most of the penalties for everything.
Quote
Not as crippling as it was.  It's only -1 now
.
I never liked the industry penalty. The problem is Power is actually quite good.

Unfortunately I could not get this mod to work.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 02:40:44 PM by vonbach »

Offline ultimo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2018, 05:42:22 PM »
Hello there! Very nice mod indeed! But any chance to make it compatible with Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2018, 04:08:44 AM »
By that logic they should get a plus to planet not a penalty. Its just the anti Christian bias again.

Umm maybe you didn't watch that STTOS episode, but the ringleader died from eating poison fruit in the "garden of Eden".  Because, as Spock attests, this cult leader is actually insane.

The question is to what degree the Believers are completely delusional about what Planet actually is.  Narratively, the story doesn't actually talk about it all that much.  Maybe not at all?  I can't think of a single quote where Miriam rattles on about "we think it's Eden".  Of course the original SMAC opens with the passage from the Conclave Bible, but there's nothing about that reading which suggests the Believers take it literally.  All we really have is 1 line of text in the Faction description: "Believe Planet is their promised land."

Talking about Planet seems to be Deirdre's schtick.  Then in SMACX, the Usurpers get to fantasize about becoming gods.  I think the Believers' viewpoint on the Planet sentience is actually unknown and uncommented upon, other than that 1 line.

The Believers go on and on a lot about God really existing, "just behind the last theorem".  Zhakarov and Yang present the atheist points of view.  The Believers also get really worried about various "false gods" being elevated above humanity, whether nanorobots or self-aware colonies.

Then for the Universal Translator movie we get thrown a loop where there's something seemingly Biblical on a Monolith somewhere.  WTF?  Little too gratuitously X Files or Ancient Alien Astronaut theory for my tastes, mainly because it wasn't really set up to be intelligible.  I feel like someone just made a SP movie with a curve ball thrown in.  Narratively in terms of the entire story, it strikes me as pretty weak.

It might be an interesting exercise to write a more religiously themed story, as SMAC is being played.  I'm not sure if those occasional narrative "screens of text" can be modded or not, to put more meat in a narrative.  I'm not willing to do voice acting even if it could technically be done.  Writing is "cheap" and expensive enough in terms of doing a good job.  Voice acting, I think that's more appropriate for one's own intellectual property.  Frankly if I made my own 4X TBS I don't think I'd voice act it at first.  I think I'd make it an expansion pack and make people pay for it, either as an addon or crowd funded.

Quote
Spartans always do well because they're aggressive and they bring rovers. Its more that than anything else.

I took away their starting Rovers.  They have to research Doctrine: Mobility just like anyone else.  Basically the Spartans are now +2 Morale, that's it.  No bonuses, no penalties.  They do get their free prototyping as before.  Something seems to be a bit messed up with prototyping in general now though.  Maybe because I included basic unit designs?  Oh well, I'll investigate later.

Quote
I never liked the industry penalty. The problem is Power is actually quite good.

Social engineering choices are supposed to be tradeoffs, not just new free stuff.  I thought -2 Industry sucked hard, so I changed it to -1 Industry -1 Economy.  I general I find that all these -1 Economy penalties I put in lieu of other things, do end up hurting as they accumulate.  You start noticing you don't have enough money.

Quote
Unfortunately I could not get this mod to work.

I'm not sure what the problem would be?  You drop the .txt files on top of a plain SMACX installation.  I use the Good Old Games version myself.  If you are using something patched like Yitzi that also changes alphax.txt, then yes it's going to be completely hosed.  Install a clean vanilla SMACX in a different directory, then drop the .txt files on top of that.

 

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